Daith Piercing Guide
Most people opt to get piercings simply for the aesthetics. They’re only in it for the looks and the cool factor. Some piercings, however, can serve a deeper purpose than vanity - and the daith piercing is one of those.
While daith piercings are also considered by many to be attractive, some of the people who get them couldn’t care less about appearance. They decide to get them based on word of mouth that daith piercings can help migraine sufferers.
While there is no hard science to back it up, some fans of the daith piercing said their migraine symptoms drastically improved once they had this area pierced. Acupuncture is an area of migraine treatments, and proponents of daith piercings claim these piercings work in the same way.
Whether it is rooted in science or is just an old wives’ tale, migraine sufferers are desperate enough to try anything they think will help slow or lessen their attacks. Maybe it will help, maybe it won’t. Either way, they’ll get an awesome-looking piercing in the process.
What Is A Daith Piercing?
A daith piercing is a perforation through the daith, which is a little area of cartilage in the inner ear. The daith sits about midway on the ear, just above the ear canal.
It can be a hard spot for piercers to reach comfortably because of how small that area is and how it curves around.
What Happens During A Daith Piercing?
Your piercer will put on their gloves and get started on the procedure. If you have long hair, they’ll ask you to put it up in a ponytail or bun so they’ll get a clear sight as to what they’re doing.
Most piercers will use an antiseptic to sterilize the area before they begin doing any work on it. Next, they’ll mark the location they’re going for so they won’t accidentally miss the exact spot when it comes time to do the piercing.
Due to the location of the daith, it can be hard to reach and a bit awkward for them to pierce, so they may ask you to lay down and turn your head away from them. That will expose the area and give them a little more room to work with. However, some piercers prefer to do the work while you are sitting up.
When you’re ready, they’ll use a sterile hollow needle to do the piercing and they may use some clamps as well to help with the procedure. They’ll wipe away any blood that pools around in your ear following the piercing.
Considering the awkward spot of the daith can often be tricky to reach, it takes longer than a simple earlobe piercing would.
Plus, you have to remember, they are going to have to use considerable force to get the needle to go through. They’ll be passing through tough cartilage rather than just skin. That makes a big difference as to the amount of force they have to use.
Once that cartilage has been pierced, they’ll put the jewelry in and give you directions for what you should do for the next few weeks, to help keep your piercing in tip-top shape. Then you’ll be on your way!
Daith Piercing Pain - How Much Do They Hurt?
If you’re looking for a quick, relatively painless procedure, you’ll want to keep looking. The daith piercing isn’t either of those things. It takes longer to get the needle through the body than some other piercings do, so you generally experience more pain when you’re in the chair.
While the daith piercing is one of the more painful ones you can have done, keep in mind that it may be worth it if it gives you any migraine relief at all.
Migraine sufferers say migraines can be excruciating, and anything that gives you the possibility of taking the edge off that pain may be worth it.
As far as the aftermath of the piercing, that depends a lot on your pain tolerance and how positive your attitude is. For some people, a daith piercing recovery can be pretty painful and just as bad, if not worse, than the piercing experience. On the other hand, others seem to get through the weeks after a daith piercing fairly well.
It all depends on the person and their ability to handle and keep their mind off the pain. Staying busy can sometimes help with pain management. If you are engrossed in something you’re doing, the pain isn’t as noticeable. Therefore, try to keep busy instead of wallowing and that might make a big difference.
How Much Does A Daith Piercing Cost?
Daith piercings cost more than many other piercings because they are more difficult for the piercer to perform. They take longer to do than some other piercings too, which also accounts for the higher price.
You can expect to pay in the range of $50 to $100 for this piercing. Just how much you pay though will depend on multiple things, including the skills of your piercer, how in-demand they are, and the location of the piercing parlor.
You will also end up paying more if you go for top quality jewelry instead of cheaply made junk that won’t stand the test of time.
Although more expensive jewelry is an upfront cost that can add to your piercing day total, it’s worth it in the long run. If you aren’t happy with your jewelry, you’ll just end up buying new stuff to replace it anyway. Might as well go for what you want the first time.
What To Do Before Getting A Daith Piercing
If you’re looking for a little liquid encouragement to help you deal with your fears about getting your daith piercing, think again. Stay away from the booze because it’s bad news right before your piercing.
If your piercer thinks you’re drunk, ethically he shouldn’t do the piercing at all until you sober up. Plus, some people turn into unbelievable babies when they’re drunk.
The last thing your piercer needs is to have to chase you around his shop when the needle is halfway through your daith.
Don’t forget to put your hair up. If you don’t do it before you go to get your daith pierced, you’ll end up having to do it while you’re there. You don’t want anything to slow down the piercing process because you’ll likely be fairly worried or worked up about it.
Even when you’re looking forward to your new piercing, nerves can be a difficult thing to manage.
You should also grab a bite to eat before getting your piercing. While a heavy, full meal isn’t the greatest idea in the world in case you end up getting sick from the pain of the piercing, a light snack is in order. That will help settle your stomach.
You don’t want to go through pain and nervousness on an empty stomach – that can make you vomit right in front of your piercer. Neither one of you wants that to happen. You’ll be embarrassed and he’ll be disgusted.
You should make sure to have some water a couple hours before your piercing, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It will keep you well-hydrated and comfortable feeling.
Finally, make sure a daith piercing is really what you want. If you’re doing it to help with migraine pain, you need to fully understand that it may not be a magic bullet for you. If you’re only doing it because you’re convinced you’ll be automatically cured of all migraine pain, you should realize that it’s unlikely to happen like that.
Don’t attach all your hopes and dreams to this one piercing. Still, if you figure it’s worth a shot to help with the pain, but you love the look of the piercing whether it helps you or not, you should go for it.
Daith Piercing Aftercare & Cleaning Guide
As with any other piercings you get, daith piercings benefit greatly from having a twice-a-day sea salt water soak. It will help keep infections at bay and the warm water you use for it should feel soothing as well.
6 Important Ear Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take:
To make your magic solution, all you need is a cup of hot water, sea salt and a spoon. Take a one-fourth teaspoon measuring unit and fill it with sea salt. Dump it in the water and stir vigorously until it is dissolved and well mixed.
Following that, you’ll take a cotton ball, or a Q-tip if you can’t seem to get the cotton ball around the curves of the daith area. Soak the area with the salt water, using a fresh supply of cotton balls and Q-tips whenever the old ones start feeling a bit dry. Keep saturating the area for at least five minutes.
The warmth of the water will help promote drainage in case there is any fluid build-up in your new piercing site.
You’d better get used to this sea salt soak routine because you’ll be doing it a lot. You should do it in the morning and before you go to bed for weeks until you feel your piercing is starting to heal well. If you’re truly dedicated to your aftercare, it would be a good idea to do it until your daith piercing is fully healed.
However, if you'd rather not make your own solution, there are a number of specialty piercing aftercare products on the market which are formulated to help your new piercing heal as quickly and efficiently as possible.
My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product
My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product
The best piercing aftercare product I've ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray.
Not only is every single ingredient completely natural, but the spray works brilliantly on all skin types (including sensitive skin) and comes in a very generously sized can.
Many users of the spray advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process, it appears to decrease healing times and helps to reduce any lingering pain/soreness.
Read more about the H2Ocean Piercing Spray here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular piercing sprays on the market.
While it’s healing, you’ll also want to sleep on the opposite side of where you’ve had your piercing done. If you’ve done both ears at once, you’re going to want to sleep on your back or propped up in a recliner for the first few nights to help manage the achiness.
It’s understandable you’ll want to check out your daith piercing. Go ahead and stare all you want. You can look at it in the mirror and admire how cool it will look once it’s fully healed. Though act like you’re in an expensive store with a bunch of breakables all around you – look, but don’t touch.
If you touch it, you run the risk of infecting it with bacteria. That bacteria could cause an infection to develop within days to weeks. In addition to that, if you play with it or rub it too much, it might make the healing process come to a screeching halt.
Ultimately, even if your piercing is irritating you, try not to scratch it or play around with it, and if you do have to touch your piercing for some reason, wash your hands with plenty of hot, soapy water first. That will cut down on the amount of bacteria you can transfer to the piercing site.
Also, when you get out of the shower in the first few weeks after you get your piercing, you’ll want to watch how vigorously you dry your hair or your face. You don’t want to jostle your daith piercing around and slow down its healing.
Instead of drying the piercing with the towel you use to dry off the rest of you after your shower, try patting it dry with a fresh paper towel. That will be more sterile than something that comes out of your linen closet.
As your piercing heals, you may want to think twice about wearing hats. Depending upon what kind of hat you wear, it may be really irritating to a daith piercing. It can snag on your earring when you go to take off your hat. Or it could rub up against your jewelry, leading to a delayed healing time and a really raw feeling ear.
Be especially leery of getting any harsh shampoos, conditioners or hair-styling products on that area because they tend to be really drying and irritating. Instead of your normal shampoo, you might want to consider using baby shampoo for the first week or two to wash your hair. It’s the perfect solution because it’s non-drying and doesn’t cause irritation.
How Long Does A Daith Piercing Take To Heal?
It will take a considerable amount of time to heal all the way from the daith piercing. Before you’re fully healed, it can be a wide range of anywhere from four months to 12 months.
That’s a conservative estimate though. Many people will heal long before that timeline. You can make it a quicker healing process by taking great care of your piercing and ensuring that you don’t snag it on your clothes or your hairbrush. The more you leave it alone, the better chance you’ll have of it healing sooner.
If you do everything right and you don’t experience any complications, your timeline can be cut down some. You should be able to expect to heal in the four- to six-month range instead of it potentially taking up to a full year.
While you’ll be eager to take your old daith jewelry out a couple weeks after your piercing is completed, you need to hold your horses. Your dreams of sporting your fantasy bling will have to wait a few weeks or months longer.
It’s best not to take out this jewelry until your piercing has fully healed. It can be torture having to wait that long, but you don’t want to undo all the healing you’ve been doing by taking it out too soon.
Daith Piercing Infections
Daith piercing infections are a bit more difficult to spot since they are in such a hard-to-see location. Even if you can’t see into the daith area directly, you can still get a good idea about whether there’s an infection just by looking at the surrounding skin and gauging how you feel.
Watch the swelling of the ear area after the first few days have passed. If you see it getting more swollen or if you start to feel a lot of pain in this area, make sure to consult your doctor.
You should also keep an eye out for any unusual pus draining out of the site. That can mean an infection has developed, especially if the pus is any color other than white or clear, and if the pus smells bad too, you should check in with the doctor.
Those aftercare instructions your piercer gave you before you left his shop are meant to help you avoid getting an infection. They aren’t foolproof because bacteria can still work its way in your piercing site even if you’re careful. Nevertheless, they will eliminate a lot of the risk if you’re diligent about doing them.
Daith Piercing Risks
When you get your daith pierced, you run the same risks as you do with other piercings – the possibility of infections or the chance of getting hepatitis or HIV from an unsanitary needle.
The possibility of contracting a disease is a very small risk, but one that can be eliminated by making sure you’re using a responsible, safety-minded piercer.
The other big risk you’ll run into with this type of piercing is the chance of getting what is known as cauliflower ear.
Cauliflower ear happens when a bunch of pus and discharge build up and doesn’t drain out of the ear. The buildup can spell big problems for the cartilage in your ear. If it is in there, taking up so much space and causing pressure, the cartilage won’t get the full blood supply it needs. That can start to kill off the healthy cartilage in that area.
When that happens, the way your ear looks can start to change. You may end up with a permanent deformity, which is called cauliflower ear because of its resemblance to the vegetable and its puffy, bumpy appearance.
As it's permanent once developed, the only way to nip this problem in the bud is by going to the doctor if you notice any unusual swelling or bumps on your ear after your piercing. If he’s worried you’re going to end up with cauliflower ear, your doctor can make a tiny cut into the area and let some of that goo drain out.
You might need a couple stitches and some compression bandages on the area to keep the swelling down and stop fluid from accumulating there. While it always sucks to have to seek out medical intervention, it’s better than ending up with a deformity.
To try to prevent cauliflower ear from happening to you, make sure to keep up with your sea salt compresses. That warm liquid will encourage drainage from your piercing site. If you notice some fluid buildup, try doing some extra sea salt soaks during the day. You want to keep that site well drained to prevent complications of such.
Daith Piercing Jewelry
One of the best parts about having a daith piercing is getting to choose from all the cute jewelry you have at your disposal. The hard part is not breaking the bank by buying every cool piece of jewelry you see.
With this type of piercing you can wear things like curved barbells, but rings are probably the most popular type of daith piercing jewelry.
Rings are also the way you should go during the healing phase. They won’t snag on your clothing as much as barbells will. Plus, it will give your piercing extra space if you have significant swelling. Barbells don’t have as much give.
Once your piercing is fully healed, it’s fine to switch out to a barbell. However, the first time you change the jewelry, you may want to ask for help from your piercer. Remember, that area can be hard to reach, which can make it difficult for you to see what you’re doing.
You don’t want to be midway through the jewelry change only to realize you can’t seal the deal. It would be better to ask for help and then walk your way through the process on the following occasion.
Daith piercings aren’t for everyone. You have to be committed to a long recovery and a fair amount of discomfort to take on this piercing.
Though with great risk comes great reward, and once the smoke clears and everything is said and done, you’ll be glad you took a chance on getting a daith piercing. You’ll be styling and profiling with this look for the rest of your life.